Dr. Philip Nitschke, the Australian euthanasia activist also known as ''Dr. Death,'' has revealed plans to create an implantable medical device for people living with degenerative brain disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease, that will kill its users if not deactivated on a regular basis.
The announcement comes amid controversy surrounding Nitschke's ''suicide pod'' — a 3D-printable death chamber that has been designed to painlessly flood the occupant's body with fatal amounts of nitrogen, according to the Independent. Nitschke, who administered the first voluntary lethal injection in 1996, said he plans to help people die by suicide in Switzerland by using the device called the Sarco next year.
Now, in a new interview with the Independent, Nitschke has shared that his team is already brainstorming their next creation.
The implantable device he plans to create for people with brain disorders will need to be switched off on a daily basis. It will beep for ''a day or two'' before activating in order to ensure the user's disease had progressed far enough for them to forget to deactivate the device.
''When you've forgotten why you're switching something off that's beeping, then you will die,'' Nitschke said. ''That puts the responsibility right back on to the person and allows them to get what they want, which is that they do not want to live on as some form of vegetable, with no one prepared to end their lives.''
Nitschke explained that in certain countries, a person with a brain disorder such as dementia can legally fill out paperwork years in advance to request assisted suicide when their illness reaches a certain point.
''Now, 10 years later, a doctor can come along, read the bit of paper, and even though you don't know which way is up or down, legally give you an injection and end your life,'' Nitschke said. ''That makes a lot of people feel pretty uncomfortable, and certainly makes me feel uncomfortable.''
He said his device will give users full control of their lives. That's not to say there won't be significant legal and technical barriers to overcome.
''I don't think there's anyone you're likely to get much sanction from anyone if you say, 'I'm going to go around implanting poison into someone,''' Nitschke said, adding that his team had also not yet figured out how the device will work.
''What is the poison? What is the thing that's going to stop you living that can be so implantable? How are you going to have it released?'' he wondered.
The device will likely draw criticism and backlash but Nitschke said it is an ''important development'' that could protect doctors faced with signed paperwork from someone with dementia or Alzheimer's requesting their death.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.